Indian Air Force pilots declared dead week after crash | daily-sun.com

Indian Air Force pilots declared dead week after crash

AFP     1st June, 2017 12:51:14 printer

Indian Air Force pilots declared dead week after crash

The Indian Air Force Wednesday declared two of its pilots dead a week after their Sukhoi fighter jet crashed in a remote northeastern state.

 

The Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30 was on a routine training mission when it went missing after taking-off from Tezpur airbase in Assam state on May 23.

 

Its wreckage was found three days later in a remote dense forested area of the state that borders China.

 

The two pilots were unable to eject and sustained fatal injuries when the plane crashed about 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Tezpur airbase, the air force said in a statement.

 

In March, two pilots survived a crash when their Su-30 crashed in western Rajasthan state.

 

India inducted the Russian-made aircraft in 2002 and currently has 230 in service, making it the backbone of the country's air defence.

 

The Indian Air Force has a high rate of crashes owning to its ageing fleet, with more than 170 pilots losing their lives in more than three decades.

 

Most of the accidents involve Soviet-era MIGs earning them the sobriquet "flying coffins".

 

India is investing billions of dollars to modernise its its decades-old fleet, with the government last year signing a deal with France to buy 36 Rafale fighters.

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